PhD Candidate in Quantum Gravity (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Updated: 20 days ago

  • Employment: 0.8 - 1.0 FTE
  • Gross monthly salary: € 2,434 - € 3,111
  • Faculty of Science
  • Required background: Research University Degree
  • Application deadline: 31 August 2021


We are looking for

Gravity was the first fundamental force that humanity recognized, yet it remains the least understood. As a PhD candidate, you will focus on gaining a better understanding of quantum gravity and quantum spacetime, their interaction with matter and their macroscopic consequences. This way, you contribute to our understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe and its underlying structures.

A PhD position in Quantum Gravity is available at the Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics (IMAPP) of Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands). You will work under the supervision of Prof. Renate Loll at the High-Energy Physics Department and be part of an active research group in quantum and classical/strong gravity, comprising senior members J. Ambjørn (part-time), B. Bonga, T. Budd, B. Dittrich (part-time/visitor), B. Krishnan, R. Loll and F. Saueressig, and a sizeable group of PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers. The aim of the PhD research project will be to gain a better, quantitative understanding of full, four-dimensional quantum gravity and quantum spacetime in a near-Planckian regime, their interaction with matter and their macroscopic consequences. A combination of numerical and analytical tools has proven essential to making progress at ultra-short length scales, using lattice methods (Causal Dynamical Triangulations; CDT) and concepts from non-classical and random geometry, as well as functional renormalisation. Expertise on these topics is represented strongly in the research group at Radboud University, and has contributed to the discovery of exciting non-perturbative phenomena, including dynamical dimensional reduction at the Planck scale and the emergence of a four-dimensional de Sitter geometry from a microscopic quantum superposition. The PhD position is for four years, which is the expected time for obtaining a doctoral degree in the Netherlands, and is paid according to nationally set standard rates. PhD candidates are required to take a number of courses, usually in the form of attending winter schools organised by the Dutch Research School for Theoretical Physics. They also act as teaching assistants for about ten percent of their working time, typically as tutors for exercise classes in theoretical courses for Bachelor's or Master's students.


We ask
  • A Master's degree in physics or theoretical physics or equivalent.
  • Proven abilities in theoretical physics and mathematics (you should at least have taken courses in general relativity and quantum field theory).
  • Good programming skills are highly desirable.
  • Solid command of both spoken and written English will be required.
  • Prior to applying, candidates should inform themselves about the research done by Prof. Loll and the group by consulting the website and publications of group members.

We are

IMAPP provides an attractive working environment for foundational, front-line research, where the two pillars of quantum gravity research, quantum field theory and gravity, are strongly represented; the former in theoretical and experimental high-energy physics, while gravitational research is also taking place in the departments of Mathematics (mathematical relativity, non-commutative geometry) and Astrophysics (event horizon telescope, gravitational waves). Our diversity and broad expertise in gravity combined with many regular activities provide a stimulating environment for young researchers.

Radboud University Nijmegen is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a diverse intellectual community, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities.


Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


We offer
  • Employment: 0,8 (5 year contract) -1,0 FTE (4 year contract). 
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,434 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,111 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P ).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your appointment.
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • The intended start date is 1 October 2021.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services . Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment  and help your family settle in Nijmegen.

Additional employment conditions
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions . You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


Would you like more information?

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Prof.dr. R. Loll, Professor
Email: r.loll@hef.ru.nl


Apply directly

Please address your application to prof.dr. R. Loll and submit it, using the application button, no later than 31 August 2021, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.   

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • A cover letter addressed to prof. R. Loll, including a brief summary of your research interests and motivation for pursuing research in quantum gravity.
  • Curriculum Vitae including the names of (at least) two senior scientists who are in a position to judge your suitability for a PhD in theoretical physics.
  • Transcripts of your university grades and degrees.
Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The review of applications and recommendation letters will start on 9 August 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.

We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.


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